Weekly book review- the Penguin Dictionary of British Surnames

Family History Social will be taking a weekly look at some of the popular books available for family historians which I hope are of interest to you.

This week we’ve taken a look at the ‘Penguin Dictionary of British Surnames’ by John Titford. The book describes itself as ‘the definitive guide to surnames and their meanings’ and is certainly very comprehensive. The author looks at the history of British surnames, regional variations and offers in one section, a humourous take on surnames from various parts of the British Isles.

British Surnames
The Penguin Dictionary of British Surnames

The book is very meticulous, analysing the history and thought-processes behind the use of surnames. There’s also a section devoted to how genealogists can approach the whole surname issue and its significance in our research. The book also gives a comprehensive list of further sources of research (both offline and online) to discover more about surnames.

Finally, the majority of the book (as per the title) gives an A to Z of surnames and their origin and meaning. The book contains over 10,000 surnames and includes how names have developed and varied over the years. It’s available from S&N Genealogy Supplies priced £14.99. There’s more details on their website.

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